Native Plant Talk Saturday 4/24

Native Plant Talk at Wilshire Park, 10 AM, Saturday April 24
Join Willow Elliott, President of the Portland Chapter of the Oregon Native Plant Society for a Native Plant “NatureScaping” talk at Wilshire Park.
4116 NE 33rd Avenue, Portland
10 – 11:30 AM, Saturday April 24

Walk around the perimeter of the “NatureSpace” planting at Wilshire Park to hear about the environmental benefits and rewards of including northwest native plants in your home or business landscape. Top among benefits is food and shelter for insect pollinators, the powerhouses of food production in our environment. Other benefits of gardening with native plants include their adaptability, low maintenance, and low water consumption. And they’re beautiful! Contact Willow at for more information.

Please wear a mask.

Wilshire Park NatureSpace Native Plant List

The NatureSpace at Wilshire Park is a 10,000 square foot area landscaped exclusively with plants native to the Portland area. Many had specific uses by the First People living here in the area for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. All contribute importantly to the local ecosystem providing food and shelter for insects, birds and mammals. The list below gives the scientific and, when available, the common names of what is planted. The rock seating is columnar basalt from the Columbia Gorge.

This sign will soon be installed in the NatureSpace to help park visitors learn the names and purposes of each of the plants in this lovely native plant garden.

Understory Shade Mix
Bletchnum spicant (Deer Fern)
Epemedium rubrum (Red Barrenwort)
Mahonia repens (Creeping Oregon Grape)
Mianthemum stellatum (False Solomon Seal)
Vancouveria hexandra (White inside-out flower)
Gaultheria shallon (Salal)
Erythronium oregonum (Oregon fawn-lily)
Ploystichum munitum (Sword Fern)
Oregon oxalis (Three leaf clover)
Dicentra formosa (Bleeding Heart)

Mid-story Shade Mix
Acer cercinatum (Vine Maple)
Aruncus dioicus (Goats Beard)
Bletchnum spicant (Deer Fern)
Gaultheria shallon (Salal)
Oemleria cerasiformis (Osoberry)
Ploystichum munitum (Sword Fern)
Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry)
Tellima grandiflora (Fringecup)
Vaccinium parviflorum (Red Huckleberry)

Mid-story Sun Mix
Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)
Eriophyllum lanatum (Oregon Sunshine)
Gaultheria shallon (Salal)
Helenium atumnale (Sneezeweed)
Lonicera involucrata (Bearberry honeysuckle)
Lupin latifolius (Broadleaf Lupin)
Mahonia aquifolium (Tall Oregon Grape)
Physocarpus capitatus (Ninebark)
Ribes sanguineum (Red Currant)
Vaccinium ovatum (Evergreen Huckleberry)

Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine)
Rhamnus purshiana (Cascara)

Rake and Plant Day on November 2

Mr. Rogers would have been pleased. November 23 was a “beautiful day in the neighborhood” as a group of enthusiastic rakers and weeders spent a couple of hours working together and getting to know one another at Wilshire Park. The excuse for the event was the need to weed the NatureSpace to help its array of barely year old native plants get established without competition, but first the carpet of fallen leaves needed removal to reveal the interlopers. Several hundred – possibly thousands – of baby Douglas Firs and Oaks were removed from the fertile, hospitable soil by the energetic crew. That was important but an equally valuable function was the opportunity for public-spirited individuals to chat and get to know each other and for oldsters to model community volunteerism for the upcoming generation.

Workers ranged in age from preschoolers to others well past retirement and there because they’d read about the event in the previous edition of the BWNA newsletter, seen it publicized on the Beaumont NextDoor website, gotten a Friends of Wilshire Park e-mail or heard about it through Quiet Clean PDX – a group devoted to replacing the health and environmental hazards of two cycle, gas guzzling, noisome yard maintenance equipment with cleaner quieter alternatives. This work wasn’t powered by fossil fuels. Instead it was fueled by an offering of delicious breads and pastries donated by Grand Central Bakery !

Of course that’s not all that’s happening at the park. The campaign to raise funds to replace the playhouse still has a way to go to reach its goal. Given the number of youngsters using that playground there should be little difficulty getting there. Checks (which are tax deductible and should say “For Wilshire Park Playground” on the memo line) can be sent directly to Central Northeast Neighbors 4415 NE 87th Ave, Portland, OR 97220.

Finally, conversations continue with PP&R about water and more fencing at the off-leash dog area. FoWP member Audene Walraven kicked off the fundraising for that initiative with a wonderful piano recital of show tunes and classical pieces at her home in early November. There’s no shortage of talent in the neighborhood! All other ideas about how to fund park improvements will be enthusiastically received.